The New York Democratic lawmaker who claimed, last week, that Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened him over revelations about the governor’s COVID-19 nursing home order, is now openly calling for Cuomo to face an impeachment inquiry.
On Sunday, The Daily Wire reported that Democratic lawmakers in New York were “inching” toward an impeachment inquiry and that the inquiry had bipartisan support. Monday, New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim officially called for an investigation in a social media post.
“Cuomo abused his powers to hide life and death information from the Department of Justice that prevented lawmakers from legislating – like fully repealing corporate immunity for nursing homes. That is an impeachable offense,” Kim said.
“The only way to protect the integrity of the co-equal branch of the state government, AKA the ‘People’s House,’ is to start impeachment,” he added.
The New York state constitution does not establish a standard for impeachment, and only one New York governor has ever been impeached, according to local media. The New York State Assembly can impeach a governor, though, by a simple majority vote. As in Congress, the case then proceeds to a trial in the state Senate.
Cuomo is, of course, under fire for an order he gave at the start of the pandemic, forcing New York nursing homes and other adult care facilities to accept recovering coronavirus patients regardless of whether they remained contagious. The policy, which was repealed just two months later, may have been responsible for thousands of New York’s COVID-19 deaths, particularly among members of vulnerable communities: the elderly and minorities.
Although Cuomo largely escaped scrutiny for the order — at least from the mainstream media — the situation did not escape the Department of Justice, at least according to one of Cuomo’s top aides, who reportedly told prominent state Democrats, earlier in February, that the Cuomo administration had deliberately hidden data on the effects of the nursing home policy so as to avoid federal scrutiny.
Last week, the Albany Times-Union reported that the Cuomo administration is under investigation from both the United States Attorney in Brooklyn and the FBI. Although neither agency was willing to give details on the probe, Assemblyman Kim told Yahoo News’ podcast that the investigation may be centered around claims that Cuomo obstructed justice.
Kim told the same podcast that he believes the Cuomo impeachment inquiry will come to fruition.
“It will take a little time to build that consensus, but every day we are inching toward the impeachment process,” he said.
“He estimated that along with ‘virtually all’ Republicans, between 25 and 30 Democratic legislators currently support an impeachment inquiry into Cuomo — a number he suggested is growing steadily,” Yahoo News added.
It seems even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is in favor of a deeper investigation, according to comments he made at a press conference on Monday.
“I have not spoken to [Cuomo]. No, I do not accept his explanation,” de Blasio said. “There needs to be a full investigation. We need to get the whole truth and make sure nothing like this ever happens ever again.”
Cuomo, meanwhile, assailed the now-departed Trump administration for mishandling the pandemic at his own press conference Monday.
“Cuomo made a public appearance at a mass vaccination site at Medgar Evers College in New York City on Monday morning. He was joined by a handful of New York State Assembly members but did not address the nursing home deaths or take questions,” Fox News reported. “Cuomo blamed the Trump administration for a lack of coronavirus vaccines and accused the former administration of creating mistrust around the vaccine in the Black community.”